Showing posts with label bucket list. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bucket list. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

La Boheme in San Francisco

The main reason I wanted to go to San Francisco was so that I could see La Boheme, one of my very favorite operas, performed by one of the best opera companies in the world.  It has been on my bucket list for a long time and I've been looking forward to it for weeks.  It was a magnificent production!  I really enjoyed the performances and the doomed love story was very affecting.  Marcello (Audin Iverson), a painter, and Rodolfo (Arturo Chacon-Cruz), a poet, are penniless and live a hand-to-mouth existence in a Parisian garret.  One evening their neighbor Mimi (Erika Grimaldi) knocks on the door looking for a light for her candle.  She faints from breathlessness (she is suffering from consumption) and Rodolfo catches her in his arms. They soon fall madly in love.  Marcello, Rodolfo, and Mimi meet friends at Cafe Momus in the Latin Quarter on Christmas Eve.  Marcello sees an old lover, Musetta (Ellie Dehn), with her new suitor Alcindoro (Dale Travis), a rich old man, and she tries desperately to get Marcello's attention.  Musetta eventually leaves with Marcello, leaving the bill for Alcindoro!  After a few months, Marcello is jealous of Musetta's flirtation with other men and Rodolfo is guilty because he feels he is endangering Mimi's life with his poverty so the couples separate.  Later Musetta brings a dying Mimi to the garret because she is desperate to see Rodolfo.  Marcello, Musetta, and their friends go for the doctor but Mimi eventually dies in Rodolfo's arms.  What could be more romantic?  I loved every one of the actors who all sung their roles beautifully.  I had tears in my eyes after almost every duet and aria (except when I was laughing).  I loved the staging, especially the scene where Musetta is flirting with Marcello as she is having dinner with Alcindoro at the same time.  The costumes and scenery were all amazing.  The Cafe Momus was a lot of fun with hanging lights and I loved Musetta's pink dresses, especially against the dark tones of the rest of the costumes.  By the end of the opera I was completely overcome and the gentleman sitting next to me leaned over and said, "It was good, wasn't it?"  Yes, it was!  I am so glad I had the opportunity to see such a wonderful production!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Colorado Avalanche vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last spring, when I heard that Air Canada was coming to the Salt Lake City airport, I got really excited!  That meant that I could fly directly from SLC to Toronto for a reasonable price.  I knew that I wanted to plan a trip because I hadn't been to my hometown since 2005!  I've always wanted to see my favorite hockey team, the Colorado Avalanche, play a road game so I thought it would be epic to see them play the Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Centre!  I mentioned it to my Dad and we eagerly awaited the release of the 2016-2017 hockey schedule to see when the two teams would be playing.  When we learned that they would be playing on a weekend, it seemed feasible.  We bought our tickets about a month ago and I flew to Toronto last weekend for an amazing trip (My Dad got there a week earlier).  I can't tell you how amazing it was to be back home for a few days!  My Dad picked me up at the airport and took me visiting people who have known me my whole life and love me.  Brian, my Dad's best friend from childhood, and his wife took us to dinner and we didn't stop talking or laughing.  I got to visit all of my favorite spots, including a quick trip to Niagara Falls to see them illuminated with colored lights, several trips to Tim Hortons for donuts, a visit to my grandparents' graves, and a visit to the locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway (a big cargo ship had just entered a lock when we got there and I got to see it go through).  Sunday night was the game and it was absolutely thrilling to be in the ACC!  I loved all of the Stanley Cup banners!  It was fun to cheer for the road team, especially in a place that loves their team as much as Leafs fans do!  I did, however, see quite a few people in Avalanche jerseys and we would high five each other in solidarity!  My Dad's friend Brian, despite the fact that he lives there, had never been to a game before so we got him a ticket.  He took me to my first Blue Jays game back in the day so I thought it was fun that I got to take him to his first Maple Leafs game!  I asked him who he was going to cheer for and he emphatically said, "Toronto!"  Although, I did catch him cheering for the Avs so maybe I converted him!  It was a great game!  Colorado scored two really pretty power play goals and, after the second one in the third period, the usher in my section came and told me that I was being too loud!  The Avs got two penalties in quick succession late in the third so the Leafs pulled their goalie and scored.  The guy sitting next to me gave me a hard time throughout the whole game so when he started cheering like a crazy man after the goal, I told him that the only way the Leafs could score was when they had a six on three advantage!  The Avs scored an empty net goal in the last few minutes to win 3-1!  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and having the Avalanche win was like icing on the cake!
It was so much fun to watch my Dad and Brian interact with each other!  They were like two teenage boys!  I think it is amazing that they have been such good friends for so long!
This was definitely a bucket list game for both me and my Dad and I am so glad that we got to do it!

Note:  I have always considered myself to be Canadian and it was very emotional for me to be back home.  While my life is in SLC and it would be difficult for me to pull up stakes and move back, I have to admit that I shed a tear when I boarded the plane to leave!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sunrise Ballooning in the Outback

After our adventure at the Kangaroo Sanctuary the night before, we got up at the crack of dawn the next morning to take a balloon ride over the outback.  Riding in a hot air balloon has been on my bucket list since I've had a bucket list!  I had the opportunity to do it while I was in Africa but I chickened out at the last minute and I have regretted it ever since.  When I learned that it was an option on this trip, I booked it almost immediately and vowed to myself that I would do it this time!  It was the coolest thing ever!
The balloon was so gentle!  By the time I realized that we were moving, we were already way up in the air.  It was amazing to watch the sun come up!
I loved looking out over the vast expanse of the outback.
After we landed we helped to deflate the balloon.
We also had the traditional champagne toast.  This tradition developed because the earliest balloonists were aristocrats in France and they would often land in the fields of peasants who would get angry with them for disturbing their animals.  They brought champagne to smooth things over (I may or may not have had too much champagne because the pilot kept refilling my glass).   This was such a magical experience and I'm so glad that I finally had the chance to do it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

All You Need Is Love

Fifteen years ago I went on a girls trip to Las Vegas with my friend Candi.  During our stay at Treasure Island we saw the show Mystere performed by Cirque du Soleil.  I had never seen anything like it before and was mesmerized by the acrobatic, aerial, and trapeze performances accompanied by fabulous live music (I especially liked the taiko drums).  I absolutely loved it!  Several years ago the Beatles collaborated with Cirque du Soleil to create a similar show called Love using the recorded music of the Beatles (their long-time producer, George Martin, gave Cirque du Soleil access to original Abbey Road Studio recordings so the music is absolutely amazing) at the Mirage.  I immediately wanted to see this show!  Since I loved Mystere so much, I figured that a Cirque du Soleil show featuring the music of my all-time favorite band would be an epic experience (it was).  I have wanted to see this show for so long (I tried to see it on my spring break trip to Southern Utah but for some reason it was dark that entire week) but I finally made it happen last Friday while I was in Cedar City for the Shakespeare Festival (Las Vegas is a two hour drive from Cedar City).  I loved this show so much!  Every single song and performance was amazing but a few of them stand out in my mind.  The stage is in the round and, at the opening of the show, it is divided into quadrants by blue scrims.  Four performers dressed in blue slowly began climbing ropes suspended from the ceiling to "Because," a slow song sung a capella.  In my opinion, it was a bit anticlimactic.  Then the scrims fell and "Get Back" played while men and women bounced perpendicularly on bungee cords.  The women seemed to drop straight down from the men and it was incredible!  I also loved the performance to "Something."  A man wearing black performed an acrobatic routine while four women dressed in white flew around him on trapezes.  He interacted with them but they all seemed tantalizingly out of reach.  So beautiful and atmospheric!  During the song "Within You Without You" a group of children played on a bed in the center of the stage.  Then a huge white parachute spread around them and throughout the audience, literally covering most of them.  I don't know what the people covered by the parachute saw, but I was sitting in an upper row and it looked like the bed was bouncing on a fluffy white cloud.  I actually felt like I was floating on the cloud and it was surreal, to say the least.  The very next song was "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and strings of LED lights descended from the ceiling while a girl dressed in silver flew around the theater on a trapeze.  The lights blinked on and off and it literally felt like I was surrounded by stars.  For "Here Comes the Sun," a globe of lights descended from the ceiling and four women dressed in yellow performed aerial dances on suspended ropes.  At the end each woman tumbled down her rope one after the other, perfectly timed to the last four guitar riffs in the song.  It was spectacular!  During "Come Together," four couples danced an acrobatic routine while spotlights flashed on them individually in syncopation with the music.  I was blown away by the performances and I literally had tears in my eyes during the encore, "All You Need Is Love" with images of the Beatles projected on scrims.  Now I want to see it again (I almost bought a ticket to the 9:00 show that same night).  Words do not do justice to this spectacle and I highly recommend Love to anyone who is a fan of the Beatles!
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